To answer the question (finally), How'd Hartford Go, at the Bushnell?

Sorry for the delay in recapping my Halloween weekend at the Boo! at Bushnell event in Hartford - wanted to give "Kill Brian Keene on Your Blog Day" a few days of front-pageness...

So, anyway, I drove down Friday night to Hartford and checked into the hotel provided me by the Bushnell and host Zita Christian. Almost immediately Jason and Stacey Harris picked me up and played excellent hosts for the rest of the evening. We went to the Texas Roadhouse - where you can eat peanuts and dump the shells on the floor and eat lots of great food - I got the ribs. Had a tremendous dinner with the two newlyweds (one year, Happy Anniversary!). Before dropping me back off at the hotel we stopped at the Barnes & Noble to see if they had Solomon's Grave in stock - of course, no. Sigh. Lots of fun, though. :-).

Got to the Bushnell Performing Arts Theater nice and early Saturday and met my host for the day, Zita (if you remember, she interviewed me on her cable show in May, and it aired all month in June). I was shown to my very own dressing room, with my name on it (no, no star on the door), and those mirrors with bulbs all the way around and my own bathroom it was just wicked cool and I haven't used any punctuation yet... so, I'll add some. Here.

The day went, literally, without a hitch. The first speaker, celebrating his 200th birthday, was none other than Edgar Allen Poe himself. Lou, the guy who looked, talked (I assume) and presented himself so much as you would imagine Poe would have (the writer, not the Teletubby), talked about his life and gave a tremendous reading of his famous story, "The Telltale Heart" (I missed some of it, because I fell into a coughing fit and had to sneak out... but they broadcast the speakers everywhere throughout the building, even the bathroom, so could still hear....)

Alisa Sheckley, the next speaker, is just one of those people you can't help but like the moment you meet her. As a novelist herself, we worked out ahead of time what we were covering so there wouldn't be much overlap, and it worked out great. Alisa talked of the growth of horror throughout the last century. She was funny and informative, overall a great talk.

After a short break, it was my turn. Listening to Zita's introduction, you'd think a stand-up comedian was coming on, so I had to be funny. :-) Thankfully, I think I was, mostly. My talk was already geared that way and people seemed to enjoy it. I had props - the infamous Monkey Picture which caused so many nightmares in my childhood (someday I'll tell you the story - the audience seemed to enjoy it), and used that and others to talk about the influence of childhood on forming a horror writer. I spent some time then talking about the New England Horror Writers organization, of which I and L.L. Soares are co-chairs, and networking within the horror genre. After a fun Q&A session, I sadly had to sit down. But I had lots of fun.

After lunch, Tim Deal, publisher/editor of Shroud Magazine, held court with an interesting approach - talking about the publishing business in a town-meeting style, asking questions of the audience and getting a lot of participation from everyone. It paid off, making the 45 minutes fly by with people still lined up with questions when time ran out.

The final speaker, screenwriter/producer Peter Fox, gave a brief historical summary of horror movies, before introducing the film HOUSE OF USHER, in honor or E.A.Poe's birthday. Unfortunately, I missed the second part of his talk, and the ending of the film, because I had to get home in time for trick or treat with the family.

All in all, the weekend was terrific. Special thanks to everyone I met, I forget everyone's name but special shout out to Zombie Girl with whom I had great conversations throughout the day, not to mention the rest of the crew and of course Zita and her husband and the employees of the Bushnell.


sounds like a well-planned and well-executed event. and how smart were they to invite you?!? as one of your newest blog readers, i do, hereby, officially request the back-story to the scary-monkey picture (and which, i'm guessing will fill us in on your blog title?)

ps. i'm quite nervous i didn't insert all my commas in the appropriate places...
I'm watching those commas!!!

OK, I guess I'll need to dedicate a blog entry soon on the infamous Monkey Story...

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